At the first-ever One Ocean Summit, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum called on all ocean countries to adopt Fiji’s moratorium on deep seabed mining through 2030.
The three-day summit, convened by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, brought together 40 Heads of State and Government and representatives of Civil Society and from the private sector to address the protection of marine ecosystems, the fight against pollution, the fight against climate change, and good ocean governance.
In a statement delivered at the High-Level Segment, the A-G highlighted the Glasgow Climate Pact as a big win for the ocean by securing a recurring dialogue on the ocean-climate nexus.
He detailed the impact of climate change on the citizens of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), like Fiji, who depend heavily on the environment and oceans for their livelihoods.
He spoke on Fiji’s recently finalised National Ocean Policy which establishes the 100 percent sustainable management of Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone, of which 30 per cent will be declared as Marine Protected Areas by 2030.
“We have banned deep seabed mining in this decade. We call on every ocean state –– including Europe and their Island territories to join us in those commitments,” said AG.
He also talked about Fiji’s innovative financing approaches to tackle resource constraints, for example, through the launch of a sovereign green bond to fund climate-centric projects. He added that there is work underway on a blue bond to fund projects in green shipping and sustainable fisheries and establish a lending facility for Marine Protected Areas.
He closed with a final challenge to the global community: “We are doing as much as we can, and we urge the One Ocean Conference participants to join us. The Blue Pacific is one of the world’s biggest sets of lungs. By working to restore its health, Fiji is restoring planetary stability and upholding human wellbeing on a global scale,” said Sayed-Khaiyum.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS